We’re a finalist for Innovation in Customer Service
Shop Direct’s Customer Closeness Centre, delivered in partnership with Gobeyond Partners and Webhelp, is a finalist for Innovation in Customer Service at the European Contact Centre and Customer Service Awards.
Shop Direct is the UK’s largest integrated pureplay digital retailer and financial services provider. We’ve been working together to establish and run a model office which supports their strategic objectives to become the number one digital retailer for customer experience.
It has established an improved way to truly understand customers’ needs, test and refine solutions at speed, and scale them across the whole organisation.
Introducing the Customer Closeness Centre
The Customer Closeness Centre (CCC) is a dedicated space built in the heart of the company headquarters, making a visible and accessible commitment to customer-focused innovation. It hosts a team of 20 hand-picked customer service experts and managers who have been trained in front line services and agile and lean improvement techniques. They use a structured approach to relentlessly focus on finding problems, understanding their impact on customers, and exploring the best ways to solve these.
Experts work in two teams which divide their time equally between the ‘customer zone’, which handles core customer service contact, and the ‘agile zone’ where prioritised problem statements are explored in sprints which design targeted solutions.
The benefits of this approach are clear: improvements are designed by people who have hands-on experience of how the process works in practice, whilst solutions can be easily trialled with immediate results, meaning Shop Direct can quickly respond to changing customer needs.
In less than a year, we have delivered over £1 million (annualised) cost saving, projected to deliver a further £3m by June 2020. All benefits have been multi-faceted, with enhanced customer experience also delivering cost reductions, driving a virtuous cycle of improvement that benefits all.
Long lasting collaborative change
The CCC has engaged people from across the business in customer-centric change and made a clear and visible commitment to putting the customer at the heart of our business.
In a relatively short space of time, the CCC has captured the imagination of the retail and customer contact industry, hosting visits sharing best practice and being shortlisted for numerous awards. In addition to this shortlisting for Innovation in Customer Service with the European Contact Centre and Customer Service Awards, it is also a finalist for Innovation in Customer Experience at the Engage Awards and Customer Experience Team of the Year with the Contact Centre Forum.